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Weather Report - Weather Report (1982) CD (album) cover

WEATHER REPORT (1982)

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.06 | 46 ratings

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daveconn
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Another in my continuing I-don't-know-squat-about-jazz series. Although I "get" this album more than some of their other work (or think I do) because the fractured arrangements let me digest the songs in little pieces. I can isolate the bass, drums, keyboards and sax in my head, hear the effect they have pitted against one another, and see the whole thing as finely meshed gears in a big machine. Or maybe it's just that I've never understood horns, and you don't have to understand them to enjoy this album. Not that I prefer this album to their earlier work; it's just less intimidating because I can follow the conglomerated grooves of "Volcano For Hire," "When It Was Now" and Dara Factors One and Two. Bearing no title (and not to be confused with their first eponymous elpee), this album was the last to feature Jaco. As such, it marks the end of an era, though his role in these songs isn't as keenly felt as other outings. Instead, the album is Zawinul's, tightly composed and seeming to allow for little latitude from the other players. (Just my impression, carrying all the weight that my opening sentence confers.) Having grown fat on previous feasts, the entries from this Weather Report are only appetizing for an instant to me. It's interesting, not arresting (as was the case on albums past), with nothing that critics have sought to crown as a career-defining achievement. I've listened to this album dozens of times, largely because it was the first Weather Report album I ever owned. It didn't kindle a love affair with the band, though I did find the modern rock elements intriguing. Drummer Peter Erskine in particular is a force (especially if you like Chad Wackerman). I haven't seen a negative review of this album or any Weather Report album for that matter, such is the intimidation factor of the PSZ axis. But the startling range of past albums is missed, replaced with a by-the-numbers mathematical quirkiness that produces some eye-opening moments but nothing of lasting beauty.
daveconn | 3/5 |

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